A very old spice blend form Japan that has been used since the 17th century, Shichimi Togarashi is commonly used in all kinds of Japanese dishes. Its literal translation form Japanese is “seven spice/peppers”, where shichi means seven and togarashi means spices or peppers. The name also refers to the number of spices which is usually added to the mixture. These seven spices include black sesame seeds, red chilli peppers, dried orange peel, Sichuan peppercorns or sansho, poppy seeds, ground ginger as well as seaweed. However, there are many variations which contain a different blend of spices as well.
As mentioned before, shichimi togarashi is widely used in all kinds of Japanese dishes, ranging from rice to noodles to soups to meat. Commonly, it is sprinkled over steamed rice, udon noodles, eggs and vegetables, fish, marinades, soups, tempuras, all kinds of meat, etc. It is also used as a salad dressing on occasions.
The delicious and rich burst of flavour it adds to any dish is why shichimi togarashi is so loved and commonly used across all kinds of Japanese dishes. For instance, the citric taste from the orange peel along with the spices and the seaweed, balances out the fattiness of most meat dishes without being too overwhelming.